For the eighteenth time in less than an hour, Jayne was asking herself if she should really be doing this, just dropping in on Gabriel and possibly disrupting his new life.
Reaching the end of the road, she knew she'd have to walk the last two miles in order to reach his packs border.
Pulling on her backpack and securing her trusty blade and pistol, Jayne took a deep soothing breath and set off.
The going was slow due to her advanced pregnancy and the fact that she was breaking her own trail through the dense trees.
Like many packs, Gabriel's Blood Claw Pack was situated deep in a thick growth of forest. There were no roads or paths that she could find that led directly to it in order to keep it concealed from the human world.
As the morning wore on, Jayne found herself needing to take more and more breaks to rest her aching back. If her pack didn't contain food, water and an extra set of clothes, she would have abandoned it an hour ago.
"I hope one of your father's men will give us a ride back to the car," she said absently to her stomach, pressing a stitch in her rib where the active baby kept kicking.
Hearing a threatening growl behind her, Jayne lifted her hands into the air in a sign of surrender and turned to face an aggressive looking man.
"Where do you think you're going rogue?" the man demanded, marching to within a foot of her.
"I've come to speak to your Alpha," Jayne explained, slowly lowering her hands to wrap them protectively around her stomach.
If things went back, and she had to run, Jayne knew she'd have to do everything she could to make sure her baby was protected.
"The Alpha doesn't like rogues," the guard explained, looking between her face and stomach. "It's best you leave before I have to tell him you've trespassed onto our territory."
"Please," she begged, hating the idea of being so close to Gabriel and not at least seeing him. "Could you just take me to see him?"
"What is your business?" he asked.
"It's private," Jayne breathed, suddenly worried that Gabriel's father was still Alpha and that he'd lied to his son about his intentions.
If that was the case, then maybe she should just turn tale and leave. What would he do to her and the baby when he realize it was Gabriel's?
Pondering the idea of just walking away, Jayne felt a sudden rush of moisture trickling down her thighs.
"Fuck," she breathed, looking down in surprise.
"Okay," she breathed, feeling her abdominal muscles beginning to tighten uncomfortably. "If you won't let me see your alpha, can I at least see your healer."
"And why would I let you do that?" he asked, his nose beginning to twitch.
"Because my water just broke," Jayne groaned, feeling like someone had just stabbed a knife into her spleen.
"Shit," the guard gasped, watching the rogue collapse to her knees, her breathing becoming pained.
Mind-linking the other border guards, he informed them that he was taking a prisoner to the healer and that they'd need to divide his patrol area before scooping the panting woman into his arms and hurrying towards the pack healer.
"Alpha," he called through his mind-link, "I found a pregnant rogue crossing our border."
"Get rid of her," Gabriel growled back.
"Uh," the guard replied back. "She went into labor while I was questioning her and I'm already on my way with her to the healer."
Gabriel groaned to himself hating the idea of giving aid to any rogue, pregnant or not.
"Fine," he sighed, rubbing his temples absently.
"Alpha," the border guard interrupted him again, "she was asking to see you before her labor kicked in."
"What did she want?" Gabriel asked, confused at the idea of a rogue actually wanting to see him.
"I didn't get that far," the man replied, sounding winded. "Her water broke and she seemed to be in too much pain to talk after that."
"I will get to the clinic when I can," the Alpha replied, closing the link.
Reaching the clinic, the guard was met by the pack healer and his assistant.
"Hello," the healer said, helping Jayne get settled on the gurney. "I'm Healer Joan. What's your name?"
"Jayne," her patient hissed in obvious pain.
"Okay Jayne," the kind woman said, rolling the moaning woman into a delivery room. "We're going to help you through this."
"I... need... alpha...," Jayne breathed.
"Your pack alpha?" Healer Joan asked.
"No!" her patient screamed. "Gabriel! Please... call Gabriel!!"
Looking up at her assistant, she motioned for her to contact the Alpha and get him here.
"Alpha, Healer Joan needs you to come to the clinic immediately," the young woman called.
"What now?" Gabriel demanded, irritated at being interrupted again.
"The rogue that was brought in is begging us to get you for her," was the reply.
"I don't have time to drop everything and follow every rogues demand," he spat, loosing his patience.
"Gabriel!!!!" a new voice cried, breaking through his mind-link.
Almost falling out of his chair, Gabriel felt his heart racing.
Breaking into a run, he left his office, shoving pack members out of his way in his haste to get to the clinic.
Bursting through the front door, he smelled his mate at once.
"Please," he heard her screaming behind a closed door, "please... get Gabriel! He needs to be here!"
Afraid he was hearing things, Gabriel stood frozen outside of her door.
"This baby is coming fast," he heard the healer say. "I need you to push now Jayne!"
"I can't," he heard her sob.
Pushing aside his own fear and shame, Gabriel opened the door to see Jayne propped up on a birthing bed, Healer Joan coaching her through her labor.
Hurrying forward, Gabriel wrapped one arm around his mates back, taking her hand in the other.
Jayne's head fell back onto his chest, her eyes rolling to look at him.
Before she could say anything, Healer Joan ordered her to push again.
"I can't," Jayne sobbed, tears rolling down her cheeks.
"You can my love," Gabriel encouraged, hoping she could hear him. Just in case, he squeezed her hand in encouragement and planted a kiss on the top of her head.
"Okay," Jayne panted, curling up once more as she felt her muscles tightening.
Screaming in effort and pain, she pushed down with all her might.